Folk who keep chickens (and the chickens) will be pleased to hear that the bird flu prevention measures which meant fowl had to be kept indoors or in a secure environment, are to come to an end on 30th April. Restrictions will remain in place for the showing of poultry, waterfowl and game birds will remain in force until 15th May.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy in the Scottish Government, Fergus Ewing said:
“This has been a testing time for all of us, and I would like to thank all bird keepers in Scotland for their co-operation and vigilance. Your positive and committed response has helped us reach this point.”
Scotland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Sheila Voas offered the following advice:
“It is a relief to see that the risk of HPAI H5N8 in Scotland has reduced, but this does not mean we should be complacent; the risk of avian influenza has not disappeared. It is essential that bird keepers maintain effective biosecurity year-round, not just when a prevention zone is in place. All bird keepers should consider maintaining excellent biosecurity practices like washing boots and equipment with approved disinfectant, implementing effective rodent control, minimizing unnecessary visitors and reducing their flock’s contact with wild birds.”
“I would also strongly urge businesses to reassess their contingency plans, given the new perspective this season’s outbreaks of H5N8 provides. Practical advice about their specific arrangements should be sought from their private vets, in consultation with their local Animal Plant and Health Agency office.”